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Chain Stores, Consumer Mobility, and Market Structure

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  • Simon Loertscher
  • Yves Schneider

Abstract

Homogeneous products are often sold by chains and locals but the chains charge higher prices. We explain this pricing pattern as well as the empirical fact that chains became increasingly dominant at the same time as consumer mobility increased: Consumers bear setup costs whenever they visit a firm for the first time. A chain operating stores in all locations insures consumers against the need to bear setup costs repeatedly when moving to new locations. In equilibrium, the chain charges higher prices and attracts more consumers than locals. As consumer mobility increases, the chain's market share and profit increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2011. "Chain Stores, Consumer Mobility, and Market Structure," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(2), pages 236-246, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201106)167:2_236:cscmam_2.0.tx_2-w
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2009. "Comparative advertising: disclosing horizontal match information," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 558-581.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12478 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Juan Delgado & Michael Waterson, 2003. "Tyre price dispersion across retail outlets in the UK," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 491-509, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Niedermayer Andras, 2015. "Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-44, March.
    2. Bonein, Aurélie & Turolla, Stéphane, 2009. "Sequential location under one-sided demand uncertainty," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 145-159, September.
    3. Niedermayer, Andreas, 2015. "Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 523, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. Takaki, Masaya & Matsubayashi, Nobuo, 2013. "Sequential multi-store location in a duopoly," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 491-506.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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